A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… I used to sell things on eBay, not much mind you but occasionally I’d have something I thought was valuable and so I’d stick it on eBay and it would sell for like £2 and I’d be gutted mostly as it cost me more than £2 to sell the thing with eBay fees, Paypal fees, postage and packing etc etc.
As a result sometime in the early 2000’s I stopped selling things on eBay and instead resorted to car boots, The Loot and more recently Gumtree (yes I know eBay own them) and Shpock. Recently however I’ve been hearing good things about eBay and the fact that there is a real market there to sell to so I decided that all my duplicate PS1 games could go on eBay and I’d make some of the money I’ve been spending like a boss back.
I think it would be best to start this tale of woe/rant of pure rage at the beginning. I recently bought about 30 PS1 games on eBay in various bundles as there were a handful of games within the bundles my own collection was missing.
When the games arrived the first thing I did was to evaluate the games and to be honest they were all in poor – fair condition however the ones I needed were tested (loaded in a PS1) and added to my collection and the ones which weren’t were cleaned, tested (loaded in a PS1, new game started, played for 5+ mins and a save game created and loaded). I call this out because if I am going to sell something I make dam sure that it works whereas for my collection I just care that the thing loads, I’ll eventually play it properly or I won’t, I’ve over 300 games in my collection and if I continue to go for the complete set I’ll have 2000+ in the end and their just isn’t the time for that.
Anyway, I put one of these games on eBay and list it as acceptable condition based on the definition:
Acceptable: a video or DVD with extensive external signs of wear, but one that continues to play perfectly. The box or DVD case might be damaged and the notes or other inclusions might be marked (but remain complete and legible), or one or more of these items might be missing. The seller must note any missing items in the listing comments.
So I listed 20 games before I went on holiday and had them all enveloped up with someone to post them while I was away. When one would sell I’d get them to post it to the person and everything was going so well, in fact it was going better than well, I’ve sold a dozen games and so I loaded a couple more up to sell them on too. That however is where everything turned sour,
one of those bundles contained a game I already owned, Duke Nukem. The person selling them was open and honest in saying they hadn’t checked they games but they were assuming they all worked and post testing the game I could confirm it worked fine.
This game sold for £5 + £1.40 postage, not a great deal but given I paid £13.50 for the bundle the sale of this game would cover the lions share of the bundle and I’d got 3 games in the bundle for my own collection, happy days! or so I thought..
Within a day of me posting the game to the buyer the communications started.
Hi, I’m not particularly impressed, there’s no mention of the hinges being snapped off.
Now I took this on the chin because honestly I hadn’t put it in the listing I had expected the acceptable description combined with the fact that the game is 21 years old to cover this however I apologised and explained that I had described it as acceptable and what was meant by that.
While that maybe the definition of acceptable, it has not been listed following the guide lines of the term “used”. For the category video games the following is the definition.
“An item that has been previously used. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.”
Well I guess that was me told, so again I apologised and bit back the sharper reply that I had in mind, this was then followed by the following message.
I have tested it today and I can safely say you did not test this game. It does not play. Seriously not impressed.
This I seriously take offence to, I know for a fact that this game worked as I spent a little too much time running round the game looking for the pole dancers. This was the straw that broke the camels back, I was only into this sale for £5 and it just wasn’t worth the noise, so I contacted the buyer and offered a refund, I just couldn’t give a flying one anymore.
The refund was submitted today by the buyer and get this for a crock of shit, the buyer is now claiming delamination (disc rot) of the data on the disc. Delamination is where the discs data becomes compromised due to damage to the top of the disc where the data is stored. You can see delamination on a CD/DVD by holding it up to an extremely strong light source, where there is delamination the light will penetrate the disc and in most cases it will appear as pin points of light, what this clown pointed to as delamination was a fingerprint.
So now not only do I have to refund the game price and the postage but a load of other costs too, please stick with me here this is what really gets my back up.
I sold the game for £6.40 all in, I spent £1.40 of that to post it meaning £5.00 in my pocket. Now I have to pay the buyer back £6.40 so that leaves me £1.40 in the red, but unfortunately though it doesn’t stop there because having spoken to eBay today about this I also have to pay for the buyer to return it to me which eBay will, kindly, facilitate for just £3.05 leaving me now £4.45 in debt, but wait the good news doesn’t stop there! Yep there’s the eBay final value fee too, £0.65 to be precise so after all is said and done I will have sold the game, and received it back and paid £5.10 for the privilege.
So what lessons did I learn that you can take away from this experience…
- Ensure that your listing has a definition of the condition, all mine now have the above definition lest I have this problem again.
- Create a returns policy, sure it wouldn’t have helped me in this situation as under eBay rules if the item is deemed faulty then it is your responsibility as the seller to pay to get it back
- Be aware that if the thing you’re selling costs less than £5 then you’re going to lose money on the return and it may even be worth just telling the person to keep the thing.
- Fuck eBay and fuck people too.